Clean for Show


10 Years
Jun 8, 2009
Sodus, Michigan
So how is one supposed to prepare a chicken for judging? I mean, keeping away the fleas and mites, bathing the day before, stuff like that. Anyone have any experience? Especially with cornish rock crosses, because they break their wings easily when over handled so I hear. I'm taking my first meat birds to the county fair this year as a 4H project.
make sure to love them. Shows can be hard on birds, and just try to make your chicken happy
Mixed breeds cannot be shown unless you're bringing them to an unsanctioned fair where they'll judge the birds on their productivity as opposed to confirmation to the standard.
In a 4-H show they can be shown at fairs

also they will be judges on cleaness of feathers
and no lice or mites and toe nail neat and trimed if jagged
and legs clean and oiled

the way to do it is to have the bird put in a pen by its self for some time ahead of the show and then clean the bedding daily so it doesn't get soiled on its feathers

emailme for some tips to showing
Hmm... fresh bedding every day or more often I can do, but I had hoped I wouldn't have to separate them out simply for lack of cages. It may have to be done though.

This is not going to be showmanship, simply judged based on meat quality. I'm fairly sure I'll just have to bring them to the table and let the judge poke at them. But I was told that they are very strict about not even letting poultry with fleas/mites into the fairgrounds and that the judges do not appreciate the least bit of filth.

Everyone here tells me to bathe them, but in what? And how? Are they going to tolerate it? And I don't want to bruise the meat or break bones... sigh... so complicated.
Washing them is easy. Basically you can use blue Dawn and warm water in a bucket or sink. Lather them up like you would your hair and rinse with clean water. You can then mix up another bucket of water and white vinegar to cut the soap suds. You should at least partially blow dry them so they don't chill. With hard feathered breeds, wash them 3-4 days prior to the show as their feathers need time to recover. You should keep their pens extra clean, though the birds don't always need to be seperated.
Sounds easy enough. And from what I gather of cornish cross, they won't mind what is done to them. I wonder if their nails should be trimmed and/or their legs oiled though or is that just for the fancy showmanship breeds?
The nails and beak shouldn't be overly long, if so you should trim them. You can "oil" the legs, combs and wattles, but don't use so much that it looks unnatural. You're only trying to add a shine, you don't want them looking wet. I suggest you find some VetRx. It works great for this purpose, plus it helps with some respiratory symptoms, etc. It's great and affordable (around $5).
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well here is the deal
you can keep them in a pen together and that maybe will work

here is the deal on washing them
with white birds I always washed them 5 days ahead and before washing
Use corn starch dry to put on tyhe feathers and soft hair brush
brush the feathers with the dry corn starch to get any soiled spots out of the feathers

when done brushing it out then put them in the dawn soap water
I used my sink as it allowed the birds to be held when putting them into the soapy water

qnd with any cornish you can have heart AttaCKS AND LOSE THEM TO DEATH UPON HITTING THE WATER

so try and get them as unscared as possible when washing and rinsing them

Don't over load the amt of Dawn dishwashing soap
and yes you can put a cup of white vinegar to 4-5 gallon of water for the next to last rinse

Vetrx is okay but it will and does burn some combs and wattles
I used witch Hazel/ 1/2 bottle with a cap of after shave lotion and 3 drops of glycern
this made a very good cleaner for the legs and comb and wattles

do not use the rag you clean the leggs and feet with on the
wattles, comb use 3 different clean thin wash cloth for
cleaning and applying the oil
also use a clean cloth to wipe down the feathers the day of the show

I used to use
alcohol wipes for the feet every two days and the day of the show
to clean the feet and legs so the bird gets used to being held by people
you get a better looking unscared chicken that way

also use a finger nail clippers and emory board to get the toe nails the right size
do not cut up to the blood line as it will cause the bird to limp as it will get sore so be careful when cleaning the bird good

if they have dirty legs use a soft brush dipped in soapy water to clean them off

email me for any other tips
Wow, lots of info here. I really didn't think it could get that complicated just for meat birds. I sure hope they don't have heart attacks. I ordered plenty more than I'll need and have plenty of room for them just in case though because of how much I've heard. Wow again... Thanks guys!

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